Stories by Diane Anderson

AltaVista Pruning Workers, Refocusing

AltaVista Co. announced Friday that it will cut 25 percent of its workforce and consolidate its four California offices into its Palo Alto headquarters.

Big Blue Bids the Olympics Adieu

When IBM Corp. first teamed up with the Olympic Games in 1960, punch cards were cutting edge, casual Friday meant a tan suit - and the Internet was still a generation away. Early on, IBM's role was limited to providing the host cities with technology. Over the years, Big Blue has pumped up its participation by nurturing a mutually beneficial relationship: The Olympics got technological support and a fortune in fees, while IBM got unparalleled global exposure.

Wisconsin Woman Auctions Personal Info Online

Tracy Coyle has heard about the value that Web marketers place on personal information, and she's decided to cash in. Thanks to online ad firm DoubleClick's purchase last year of the offline database firm Abacus, a number of Web surfers now realize that as they surf, they leave behind a wealth of information.

Engage to Buy MediaBridge for $268 Million

With so many ways to advertise these days - outdoor, print, TV, cable, Web, e-mail - some retailers are longing for one-stop shops, and Engage has taken a step toward becoming just that.

Ad Execs Huddle on Web Standards

In the face of a dramatic drop in the percentage of Web viewers who click on banners - from 3 percent when they were introduced to a miserable 0.5 percent today - advertisers and agencies began to talk this week about setting standards for streaming media, pinning their hopes on broadband.

Who Wants to Be a Marketeer?

Ever watch TV commercials and think you could do better? Lexus' latest online effort gives armchair advertisers the chance to make a name for themselves, so long as they are prepared to let the carmaker exploit their creative talents.

Agencies Should Cover Their Ads

No one likes to get stuck with the bill, and cash-rich advertising agencies are no exception. While the advertising industry is tracking the economy and enjoying its longest boom ever, the American Association of Advertising Agencies once again is advising agencies to institute "sequential liability" clauses in contracts with clients and media outlets.

FTC Takes a Closer Look at Online Ads

The Federal Trade Commission has gone on the offensive against e-commerce advertising, taking steps to ensure that new-media ads are treated no differently than old-media ads.

Net Advertising May Slow, but it Ain't Over Yet

Even though the market recovered somewhat from last week's market slide, advertising agencies had to wonder how the stock market would affect their bottom line in months to come. Traditional media advertising has grown more dependent on high-tech advertisers graced with either VC-funded wallets or Wall Street's favor. "There are a lot of agencies that have gotten fat on dot-com money, and it was relatively easy," says Mike Massaro, COO of ad agency Goldberg Moser O'Neil. "Those days are ending because there won't be $40 million dollar accounts with no sales anymore." Even before last week's so-called crash, Internet companies were rethinking their business models. Many didn't see the fourth-quarter revenues they had hoped for, and others like Inc. and Inc., were running out of money. But last week's events make consolidation even more likely, which will result in fewer client accounts for agencies. Those companies left standing aren't likely to spend as extravagantly on outrageous advertising schemes. "I'm not saying they were spending like drunken sailors, but the dot-com ad spending has been an unexpected bonanza for the ad industry," says Rich LeFurgy, a former ad exec who's now a partner at Walden VC. "Venture capitalists won't urge boards to let them spend, spend, spend on TV and radio in unbridled ways like before."

Companies Pouring Cash into Net Ads

Lots of companies complain that Internet advertising doesn't work, but something's going right: Spending on Internet advertising continues to double every year. The Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers announced today that Internet spending in 1999 reached $4.62 billion, a 141 percent increase over 1998's $1.92 billion.

Services Firm Zefer Takes Shelter From Storm

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to initial public offerings. Boston-based Internet professional services firm Zefer was scheduled to go public today. But after a week of record-breaking losses, the company didn't dare brave the market's chilly waters. Instead, it has opted to hold out for better market conditions before refiling its S-1 document with the SEC.

Getting Caught in American Psycho's Web

Marketing movies online is a tricky business, and few have mastered the art. The Blair Witch Project's successful Web-driven publicity campaign made it a rare exception. Nonetheless, filmmakers feel they must try. a movie based on the gruesome and controversial Bret Easton Ellis novel that will debut in theaters this Friday.

Software Costs? Free - That's the Magic Word

Texas-based GlobalScape wanted to let the world download its CuteFTP, a tool that helps you transfer files over the Web, and try it out for 30 days for free. It retails for $39.99 in stores like CompUSA, so the company wanted to disable some functionality when the month was up to encourage purchases.

E-Mail or Me-Mail?

Back in the stone age of Internet marketing (like a year ago) advertised mostly through banners and spent around $400 to acquire each customer.

Media Buys Made Simple

While banner ad deals have been brokered online for years now, to date the Internet hasn't made much impact on media buys for TV and radio.